Questions tagged [orphism]

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Why is the virgin goddess Artemis associated with childbirth?

Orphic Hymn I to Prothyrea ("Προθυραία"), identifies Artemis as the goddess of childbirth, and relegates Eileithyia to the role of "assisting goddess": O venerable goddess, hear my pray'r, For ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Why was Dionysus, a dying and rising god, called thrice-born?

Of the many epithets used to describe Dionysus in Orphic Hymn XXIX, thrice begotten ("τρίγονον" in the original) stands out: Bacchus I call, loud-sounding and divine, Fanatic God, a two-fold ...
5
votes
2answers
903 views

Would the gods often take the form of another god?

Greek mythology is full of stories where gods would disguise themselves as humans, beasts or elements to deceive humans. Especially with Zeus, this appears to be a favourite plot element. A ...
4
votes
1answer
807 views

What are the main differences of the Orphic theogonies?

Wikipedia records four distinct Orphic theogonies: The "Protogonos Theogony", lost, composed c. 500 BC which is known through the commentary in the Derveni papyrus and references in classical ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Importance of Dionysos/Bacchus in Orphism

How did Dionysus/Bacchus become the central figure of Orphism, given the relatively modest importance he has in classical Greek and Roman mythology? From a semi-god of Wine in the latter, he becomes ...